As part of the disciples prayer Jesus encouraged us to pray: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven’. In this simple prayer we see the mission of His Church on Earth.
When leading the Chaplaincy at Beachy Head, there were times where I, and my senior team, felt under such strong spiritual attack that we couldn’t think straight. We could be facing a simple problem, but couldn’t think through a solution. On one of those occasions, my friend Ben (the Operations Team Leader) and I, drove out of town to buy a burger. As we drove, we wrestled with the problem facing us. Suddenly, as we passed over the border of the town and surrounding villages, we also passed out of the negative spiritual atmosphere. It was like driving out of thick fog into a brilliantly clear summer’s day. Immediately, we both hit on the solution to the problem. All of the spiritual attack had vanished as soon as we’d driven out of the negative atmosphere.
This ‘revelation’ impacted us strongly. Following this, we would drive out of town on a regular basis to be able to clearly hear from God. I was even aware of opposition in my house. So I would go out to pray, and in doing so, step out of the negative spiritual atmosphere into a more open place. The problem was, although this experience was true for us, it wasn’t actually the truth.
The best way I have found to describe it is the analogy of the thermometer and the thermostat. (I love this illustration, and have heard it a number of times over the years so I cant remember who to attribute it to.)
A thermometer measures the temperature of the atmosphere around us. It gives an accurate reading of what it feels like. What it says is true. We feel the truth of its observation on our bodies.
In comparison, a thermostat doesn’t just measure the temperature of the atmosphere but affects it. We adjust the thermostat to the temperature we require; it measures the temperature of the room and fires up the heating until the temperature changes to the desired level.
Our actions at Beachy Head Chaplaincy were akin to that of thermometers. We experienced the chilly spiritual atmosphere and drove out of it until the temperature rose. However, we did nothing to affect the atmosphere. That is why the revelation for us was true, but it wasn’t the truth.
We’re meant to affect the atmosphere we are in, not be affected by it. Yes, it may seem spiritually cold. We feel it, so we set our thermostats up. We invite Heaven’s atmosphere to invade that place and change the temperature.
The revelation of this has brought a lot of breakthroughs for me in recent years. Even now though, I still realise that there are places where I am being a thermometer and not a thermostat. There I am challenged to change my thinking and partner with God for change.
You and I are called to change atmospheres. So, I pray that God will reveal those places that are currently affecting you, which He has instead called you to affect. As He speaks, partner with Him to change the temperature. Let Him speak to you of what He sees. (HINT: He will see what He wants it to become, not what it currently is!)
Don’t declare simply what you are experiencing, rather declare what God says about it – the truth of what it would be like in Heaven’s atmosphere, God’s Kingdom. In doing so, we become thermostats and not thermometers. We are no longer affected by the atmosphere, but we are affecting it for God’s glory.
When we speak from God’s perspective we speak faith, and as we do Holy Spirit has something to work with because our words are powerful. When we partner with God in this, there’s no place that cannot be positively affected by His Kingdom atmosphere. Thus, we become atmosphere changers.
I would love to hear your testimonies of partnering with God to affect the spiritual atmosphere. Please leave a comment below.
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